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Important 2019 UPDATE: A message from SOS-NC president

(POSTED 9/5/2019)

Wow! What a busy legislative season this has been for me as President of Save Our Summers - NC. Without going into too much detail, just know that for the past year, several times a month, I have been communicating with (usually in person) numerous members of the General Assembly, advocating for parents, teachers, and students who want a more traditional calendar to still remain a choice in North Carolina.

For fifteen years now, against massive opposition, Save Our Summers - NC has tirelessly fought to keep the School Calendar Law on the books. Prior to this law, school districts were abusing their power to set start and end dates, causing hardships for NC families. (www.saveoursummers.com/quickref.asp) The law has changed, and offers much more flexibility, but still sets parameters within which local districts can set their own calendars. However, it is hanging by a thread. WE NEED YOUR HELP IMMEDIATELY!

Why? Because the original supporters of Save Our Summers - NC no longer have school-age children, and for the past fifteen years, parents have taken for granted that traditional-calendar schools will always be a choice. That is not the case. WE NEED SUPPORTERS WHO WILL ACT NOW to visit, write, call, and/or email their state leaders and let them know that they support Save Our Summers - NC's efforts to keep this choice alive. Unless these leaders hear from you this year, there's a good chance that summers as you know them now will cease to exist. See the side bar to the right to find out who you need to contact.

Here is some vital information that SOS-NC advocates need to know:

  • Since there is no means of accountability for school calendars, it was up to SOS-NC to ferret out and expose school districts who decided to blatantly violate the School Calendar Law for the 2019-2020 school year. Among those identified were: Surry County (started 8/7, nineteen days earlier than allowed by law for 2019-2020), Mount Airy (8/7), Elkin (8/7), Iredell- Statesville (8/8), Lincoln County (8/12), Whiteville City Schools (8/12), Columbus County (8/12), Yadkin (8/13)


  • I reported these findings to individual Senate and House members and their committees, as well as to policy advisors for: top legislators, the Lieutenant Governor, and the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction. Over and over I pushed for any entity to stop these districts from breaking the law while there was still time for them to change their start date, but no one took action until it was too late.

  • Finally, after much follow-up and perseverance on our part, an attorney with the NC Department of Public Instruction sent a letter to one of the offending systems (I was told more than once that letters were sent to all guilty parties) letting them know that they were in violation of state law. Nothing happened, and there was no follow-up on the part of DPI.

  • In the meantime, Save Our Summers - NC had its attorney contact the school districts who were set to start classes early. Unfortunately, with no "teeth" in place for enforcement, these school systems got away with breaking the law.

  • On the "good news" front: We never gave up, and finally a bill was passed into law (SL2019-165) requiring NC school districts to report their proposed calendars by a specified date, and to be able to justify any deviation from traditional school start and end dates as set forth by law. Click here for exact wording.

Working hand-in-hand, we can ensure a future for those who want - and need - a more traditional school calendar. If this battle is lost, this option will likely be taken away, perhaps permanently. Let's not let that happen!

Thank you for your support!

Louise Lee
President, Save Our Summers - NC


It is crucial that you let your legislators know how you feel about this issue!

Please go here: www.ncleg.gov/RnR/Representation

Perhaps more important than anyone, contact Senator Phil Berger:



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